Magnesium: Most Overlooked Mineral for Improving Health – Part 1

Magnesium: Most Overlooked Mineral for Improving Health - Part 1

Magnesium is important in over 325 enzyme reactions in the body. 1 It is used to regulate blood glucose levels in the body, and to help prevent you from developing diabetes. 2 Magnesium relaxes arteries that carry blood throughout the body, which lowers blood pressure. Magnesium also chelates extra calcium in the body keeping the arteries from hardening due to excess calcium. In addition, supplementation can help lower stress, anxiety levels, and improve sleep.

Let us take a look at the many types and their functions in a later entry. The best form I can recommend in the meantime is magnesium glycinate. The body absorbs the most elemental magnesium from mag glycinate. 3 The extra glycine, an amino acid, relaxes nerves, and relieves anxiety.

Possible Symptoms of A Magnesium Deficiency

The following is a list of possible symptoms a patient might have if they have a magnesium deficiency. If a magnesium deficiency is present, you can still have a magnesium deficiency and not have any of these symptoms as well. Asymptomatic deficiency often occurs in younger people (young age helps reduce the symptoms of a deficiency), and it can also depend on the gender (men tend to have fewer symptoms than women). Most people should supplement with 400 mg of elemental magnesium (as long as their kidney function is normal) even if they do not know if they are deficient. 4

  • Tingling in legs – magnesium deficiency is the main cause of restless legs syndrome
  • Leg cramps (charlie horse)
  • Weakness
  • Asthma
  • Elevated blood pressure and / or pulse
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Constipation 5

Diagnostic Tests for Magnesium Deficiency

Here is a simple guide of the different tests that are used to determine if you have a deficiency or not.

Magnesium Serum Test

A magnesium serum test is the most common test performed and also the most inaccurate. Less than 1% of the body’s total magnesium is in the blood plasma, and the body does whatever it can to keep that amount in homeostasis. If you test low on a plasma test, then you are in dire need of mag, and you are deficient in your bones, organs, and muscles. 6 A serum test is used to measure extracellular magnesium levels. Normal plasma levels are 1.6 – 2.4 mEq/L. 7 A serum test does not accurately measure the body’s total level but is the test most often used for diagnostic testing.

Magnesium Red Blood Cell Test

A magnesium RBC test is a more accurate test that quantifies the amount of magnesium stored in the red blood cells. A RBC test measures intracellular magnesium levels and gives you the amount that has been stored in your red blood cells for the past four months. Results of six mg/dl or higher indicate strong reserves in the body. 8

Magnesium White Blood Cell Test

A magnesium WBC test is more accurate than the RBC test. Like the RBC test, the WBC test also measures intracellular magnesium levels. A magnesium WBC test gives you the amount that is currently in your cells; it does not show an average in the cells over a period of time like the RBC test. Sadly this test is not available to many doctors or diagnostic labs. 9

Magnesium EXA Test

A magnesium EXA test is the best test to determine magnesium deficiency. The EXA test is performed by scraping your cheek buccal cells for a sample so that levels stored in your cells, bones, and muscles can be determined. Like the WBC test, the EXA test is considered an intracellular test. The EXA test will account for 99% of the body’s total mag and is the most accurate diagnostic test for magnesium currently. 10

  1. Greetings John. I would appreciate you informing of where my patients can have the EXA test done.

  2. Magnesium ZMK vs glycinate which assimilates better ?

    alpha -ketoglutarate = ok found it in the zmk ,but still some forms you cite separate ,while others in the Krebs cycle ,are only cited as part of the zmk “?

  3. alpha-ketoglutarate form of magnesium not covered ?

    can take even magnesium oxide along with fulvic acis ,and it will assimilate it even better then glycinae ?

    • Why would it? The magnesium found in fulvic acid is hydroxide. Fulvic acid is supposed to improve magnesium’s assimilation into the mitochondria, not its assimilation by the enterocytes.

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